Mother's Cake: No Rhyme, No Reason (Membran)
Booty-shaking, psychedelic, blues rock with an indie spirit Mother's Cake are something a little special, they blend the trippy sonics of hawkwind with the strut of The Black Crowes, the hard rocking of Aussies Wolfmother (Now Or Never) with the spiralling kaleidoscopic palette of The Mars Volta on the trippy H8 and even throw in the 60's vibe of Rival Sons on the atmospheric Black Roses.
This three piece from Austria are Yves Krismer on (vocals, guitar), Benedikt Trenkwalder (bass) and Jan Haussels (drums) and they play like a much bigger band, the sounds this band make are incredibly intricate you can hear every bass note, every snare hit, every chord change, every guest organ playing, much of this is due to the stella production, but the band themselves are obviously superior musicians as they effortlessly shift between the Arctic Monkeys on psychotropic drugs fuzzy indie bluster of The Killer to the bluesy rocking of Now Or Never while they can also give us tracks such as The Sun and Streetja Man that go into full freakouts with The Sun having a relentless riff and Streetja Man pairs timpani percussion with phased guitars for a otherworldly sound that bleeds into a full frontal madness in the last part.
This is the band's third album and it is such melting pot of sounds it will immediately grab the listener by the collar and shake them around, Mother's Cake is one that you will want to eat again and again, it's pairs perfectly with those 'special' cookies. 8/10
Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters: Bad Habit (Self Released)
We reviewed Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters EP Sick Like This not long after it came out and I was impressed with their radio bothering hard rock with Beth every inch the rock chick. Only one of the songs from this EP has made it's way to the Cardiff band's debut full length, the strutting, sexy Hell In High Heels which is one of the songs that exhibit the strutting, kick ass, rock n roll attitude of this band. The rest of the record is all new material (obviously played live previously) but the quality shown on the EP is increased tenfold on this full length.
Owing as much to Halestorm, The Pretty Reckless, Alter Bridge as they do AC/DC and KISS, the band is made up of Sam Bain and Nicko Goodwin smashing away in the backroom as Craig Manning has the firework leads while Beth brings the riffs with the rhythm guitar and her powerhouse vocals, she sings her heart out while the band play with a hard rock snarl, the lyrical content paints Beth as a rock n roll warrior Queen, they are empowering, sexually charged, a little naughty and clearly display the band's love of the rock n roll lifestyle.
The record opens with the clarion call of Hell Yeah! which quickly moves into the dirty, blues riffage of the title track, as this speeds by Beautiful Disease brings a percussive groove. The performances on this record have been honed over years of touring and it shows the band are all on top form and the songwriting has the guts to match the performances the production too while not as crystalline as Halestorm etc still makes the songs sound big.
As with many of the band's BBATBD are akin to there is always going to be a big centerpiece ballad and this record is no different with Poster Girl For Pain and Angel With A Dirty Face really letting Ms Blade let loose behind the mic. Bad Habit is an excellent debut record from the Cardiff band, it will hopefully see them gain more recognition and fans and ultimately it will see them achieve bigger and better things, Da Iawn! 8/10
Victorius: Heart Of The Phoenix (Massacre Records)
Teutonic power metal is a genre that can sometimes can be much maligned, the bands all tend to be similar with very few breaking out of the mold. So from Lower Saxony come Victorius who have the blast-beating drums, speedy guitars and powerful vocals you'd expect, having been around since 2004 they have a very polished sound with sparkling production, razor-sharp guitar playing and massive layered vocals on the choruses.
The lyrical content is mainly fantasy and battle with Shadow Warriors taking on the unlikely sound of Ninjas, Die By My Sword about expert use of a sword, Sons Of Orion has a killer synth, a folky feel and the fastest drums on the record. Four records into their career and Victorius are still sticking to their guns as all great power metal bands should, it brings a smile to your face and gets your fist punching the air, a record for fans of Hammerfall Heart Of The Phoenix is a real force of power metal. 7/10
Hateure: Erase This (Self Released)
Hailing from the Philippines Hateure are a sludge band with emphasis on the slow, deliberate, sludge sound. Their debut EP is one track that clocks in at a colossal 10 minutes long and my does drag it's knuckles with the sheer violent sound it creates. Extraordinarily heavy with discordant riffs screamed vocals it's all extremely angry and disorientating the waves of riff after riff can make you woozy and the rough production is a bonus to the D.I.Y sound. Erase This is 10 minutes of sheer distilled rage administered over prolonged period as the band torture their instruments, in the best way possible. 7/10